Note: Due to a glitch in the system, I don’t think this went out yesterday (Friday) when I originally posted it, so I am resending it. If you’re actually receiving it a second time, my apologies. Please don’t feel obligated to read it again. However, I think it’s important enough that you may want to!

I was planning on writing what would have been a mildly humorous blog today, but then I got an email from Tom Kephart, a friend who’s also an Emergency Room nurse. As you can imagine, he’s even busier than usual right now. In fact, he traveled to New Jersey a few months ago after a request came for medical personnel from around the country to come and help them treat and care for coronavirus patients. He’s back in town now, but still unbelievably busy.

Tom’s email was in response to one I had sent him a week or so ago, and he apologized for taking so long to get back to me – although that wasn’t necessary, as I’m well aware of his schedule.

In his email, he included the following information, which I am sharing, word-for-word, with his permission. When I asked if it was okay for me to do this, he said to feel free to use what he said in whatever way I saw fit, adding that if it helps even one person, it’s worth it. So please feel free to share this with anyone else you think would benefit from reading it.

“I have not received my schedule for next week yet. These are some of the sickest patients I have cared for in my 15 plus years in nursing. 

This sickness affects patients differently. There is no one-size-fits-all kind of treatment to resolve the impacts on patients’ health. This virus causes something called a cytokine storm. This storm comes in like a hurricane and disrupts bodily functions and processes. Then much like a hurricane it takes an extended period to clean things up and get them back to normal. The major problem is you don’t know when the storm will peak and bring its strongest wave of damage, how much damage it will do, or what it will damage. 

 There are so many unknowns to this virus. A typical ICU stay for a really sick patient is 1-2 weeks. Covid patients can stay for months in an ICU, slowly dying, and they are all alone. If you pray, please keep the sick and their families in your prayers. 

I hope you are doing well. Please stay safe.”

I’m taking Tom’s words to heart. And in addition to praying for the sick and their families, I am also praying for Tom, for his family, and for all medical professionals and caregivers. I hope you will, too. And please stay safe.

July 24, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020

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